A Photographic Documentation of Drikung Institutions in the Drikung Valley
This past summer, a party of four that included two DKF-USA Board members traveled to Central Tibet to document the state of Drikung Kagyü institutions in the Drikung Valley, about 90 miles northeast of Lhasa, the ancient capital of Tibet. In the 12th century, Kyobpa Jikten Sumgön (1143-1217) came to the Drikung Valley and founded the first Drikung Kagyü monastery – Drikungtil Okmin Jangchup Ling here. From that point on, many other important Drikung Kagyü monasteries, nunneries and hermitages were established by members of the order over the next few hundreds of years until the Communist Chinse takeover of Tibet in 1959. Other than Drikungtil Monastery, the other two important Drikung Kagyü monasteries are Drikung Dzong Tse Monastery and Yangri Gar Monastery. Presently, Dzong Tse has been rebuilt while Yangri Gar is still in the beginning stages of its reconstruction although its traditional meditation-center – Yamari Monastery – has been successfully rebuilt. There are also two very active Drikung Kagyü nunneries in this valley – Terdrom Nunnery and Cholung Nunnery.
With the blessings of His Holiness, Northern Virginia photographer, Dr. Bill White, assisted by Taylor Johnson (a photographer based in Asheville, NC) took thousands of photos of most of the major Drikung Kagyü monasteries, nunneries and holy sites in the Drikung Valley. Working under somewhat restricted conditions and under constant surveillance by the government authorities, the group spent about two weeks in Central Tibet hoping to gather enough photo documentation to publish a photo volume on the current state of the key Drikung Kagyü institutions and sites in the Drikung Valkey. DKF-USA has agreed to publish this important volume when it is completed.